Police have arrested child traffickers and rescued eight abducted children including a pregnant girl aged 15
In a statement released on September 15, Haruna Mohammed, the state police command, said :
on Sunday, September 13, police detectives attached to the Onitsha Area Command received an intelligence report on the unlawful activities of members of the union.
The police detectives arrested five members of the syndicate in coordination with the Command’s State Intelligence Bureau(SIB). They are known as
- Mrs Joy Lazarus ‘f” aged 40years of NO. 138 Urata area Aba, Abia State,
- Janet Gideon ‘f” aged 22years of No. 12 irete Street Owerri, Imo State,
- Gideon Bobby Gods power ‘m’ aged 26years of Port Harcourt in River State,
- Wisdom Ndubuisi ‘m’ aged 26yrs of Chokosho Village PH, Rivers State and,
- Chukwudima C. Nwogu ‘m’ aged 29years of No. 138 Urata area Aba,Abia State.
Haruna said the suspects are skilled in child snatching, child stealing and trafficking from various parts of the country, especially South East and South-South Geo-political zones.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the children (five boys and three girls) were abducted from the states of
Rivers Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and Anambra both at gunpoints and by robbing, after which they were sold to the Kingpin in Abia State.”
Upon questioning, the suspects willingly admitted that they typically steal the children and carry them to their sponsor,
Mrs. Joy Lazarus of Urata in Abia State who allegedly buys the children at a cost of between two hundred to four hundred thousand (# 200-400,000) naira depending on their gender.
Haruna added that further investigation revealed that Mrs. Joy Lazarus, in addition to child theft and trafficking, also attracts underage girls to have pregnancy after which she will buy the children from them immediately after birth.
He said eight children of different age ranges had been rescued from the syndicates, including a year and a half old baby recently snatched from the parent at gunpoint in Orlu, Imo State, as well as a pregnant girl of 15 years old.
The police spokesperson said all the children are in protective custody and will be turned over for custodial care to the social services department.
He added the suspects are likely to be arraigned in court.